Commission seeker; Beaumarchais’ cousin on the maternal side.
By his own account, had a thorough knowledge of engineering, artillery and the quartermaster’s department, and had served as an engineer in France’s Hanoverian campaigns.
Refused admission to the American service. Placed in command of the volunteers upon a French privateer (1779). Was wounded and captured by the British (1780). Served in Russia as a lieutenant colonel of engineers (1788-90). Returned to the French army as an infantry officer. Wounded at Neerwinden (1793).